Viet Nam News
ĐÀ NẴNG — Việt Nam has been an open trade hub in the past and is striving hard now to become a trustworthy and potential trade partner in the world business community, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said on Tuesday.
Addressing more than 2,000 delegates attending the first-ever Việt Nam Business Summit (VBS), he affirmed Việt Nam’s determination to build a growth-enabling and action-oriented Government to serve people and enterprises, to strengthen international integration, maintain macro-economic stability, and reform institutions and legal policies.
Themed “Việt Nam: We Mean Business”, the VBS is an initiative of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) that aims to help the country make optimal use of investment promotion opportunities.
Reviewing Việt Nam’s socio-economic achievement, the Prime Minister noted that a GDP growth rate of 6.7 per cent was expected this year. An average of 6.5 to 7 per cent growth in the 2016-20 period with an average per capita income of US$2,300 was also estimated, he said.
According to a World Bank 2016 report, more than 10 per cent of Việt Nam’s population belongs to the middle class, and this is expected to exceed 50 per cent by 2035, he noted.
“This in turn increase overall demand, generate better jobs, and help expand Việt Nam’s participation in regional and global value chains,” Phúc said.
He also highlighted Việt Nam as an attractive destination for international investors, with great efforts made to improve the investment environment, attracting more than 24,200 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects worth $310 billion from 120 countries and territories, equivalent to 155 per cent of national GDP, currently being implemented in the country.
Notably, FDI from APEC economies had reached $250 billion, accounting for 80 per cent of total foreign investment in Việt Nam in the past 30 years, he said.
“Việt Nam has shown its dynamism through actively participating in global integration, and strongly advocating for global open trade. It has signed 12 major Free Trade Agreements, and is currently negotiating four more with 18 of APEC’s member economies,” Phúc added.
Philipp Rosler, head of Regional and Government Engagement, and member of the managing board at the World Economic Forum, highly appreciated the recent improvement in Việt Nam’s business competitiveness.
“Việt Nam made a huge step in the last year of (rising) five ranks for a total of twenty in the last five years… so we see a great business environment and a great economic future for Việt Nam,” Rosler said.
Ten years since Việt Nam joined the WTO, the country’s export and import turnovers have increased four times, reaching over $400 billion, almost 175 per cent of GDP.
Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Vice President for the East Asia and Pacific Region, also spoke about Việt Nam’s achievements and aspirations, as well as some of the challenges and primary priorities that would help Việt Nam to forge ahead.
She spoke of the We-Fi (Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative), a fund to support female entrepreneurship set up by a coalition of nations.
Đặng Thành Tâm, chairman of Saigon Invest Group and a Vietnamese representative at APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), told Việt Nam News that the presence of more than 2,000 business leaders on Tuesday proved how crucial Việt Nam was on the business map.
“Moreover, what we see here is that the Prime Minister has summoned all the provinces’ leaders to participate in the event,” Tâm said.
Tod Gimbel, vice president of Herbalife Nutrition, Asia Pacific, said Đà Nẵng was a good example for attracting investors.
“I know that business is continuing to grow here and around the rest of Việt Nam. But Đà Nẵng is obviously an important metropolis in the centre of Việt Nam, on par with Hà Nội and HCM City,” said Gimbel.
“I think the Government is doing an excellent job of trying to improve and cut out some of the bureaucracy and make it easier for businesses here in Việt Nam,” he said.
Lâm An Dậu, chairman of the Vĩnh Tiến Paper Company, expressed some reservations about the capacity of Vietnamese enterprises, saying they need to manage the local market first before going out to the world, not to mention meeting demands of the 4th industrial revolution.
The VBS 2017 discussed six topics including smart agriculture; financial services for development; healthcare and education; infrastructure connectivity ; SMEs, start-ups and innovation; and special economic zones and tourism potential.
A trade promotion exhibition called “Việt Nam – Trusted and Potential Business Partner”, is being held on the sidelines of the VBS on an area of approximately 1,100sq.m, featuring 80 pavilions representing 63 cities and provinces across Việt Nam.
The exhibition aims to introduce Vietnamese localities and their investment incentive policies, while calling for investment in agro-forestry and fisheries, industry, transport and tourism services. — VNS
See full speech of Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc here: http://vietnamnews.vn/economy/417102/viet-nam-integration-dynamic-reform-and-comprehensive-development.html#2adVOqTSIB0SjpCi.97